Packed my Olympus Evolt 300 in the cargo hole of my kayak in hopes of getting a high quality image of this castle. It was very windy cutting down on the reflection but the last time I tried it was like glass but a thin sheet of ice blocked access to this point in the lake. Here is the real skinny on the castle.
Edward Clark, an attorney from New York City, had made a fortune by sharing in the Singer Sewing Machine millions with inventor Issac Singer. After building several mansions, a hospital, a hotel, and several other public buildings in and around Cooperstown, New York, he commissioned the construction of 60ft. tall Kingfisher Tower "to beautify the lake" (Otsego Lake). This is a whimsical structure built strictly for asthetic purposes by a civic-minded millionaire.
Later, I recieved E-Mail that said:
As excerpted from a September 1876 article in The Freeman's Journal written by Edward Clark, the builder/owner, himself:
" ... Kingfisher Tower is a miniature castle, after the style of the eleventh and twelfth centuries .... The tower is about 20 feet sq. at the base, and at a height of five feet above the water is the main floor. Ten feet above this is the first platform, provided with ramparts and machicolated parapets.
"Above this stage the tower alone rises, eight feet sq., crowned with a pyramidal roof pierced with a window on each side, the walls bearing at one angle a bartizan with conical roof. The walls of the structure are most solidly built of stone from the shores of the Lake, the roofs covered with earthen tiles ... The main windows are brilliant with stained glass, and each bears in the center a heraldic shield. When first built a drawbridge connected the castle with the causeway running to the main land, while a portcullis could be lowered to close the entrance.
"The drawbridge, portcullis and doors were all of solid oak. Stairs lead to the highest platform of the tower, and from the numerous openings and loopholes with which the walls are pierced, a fine panoramic view of the lake and county can be obtained. ... The original design for "Kingfisher Tower" was selected from several drawn by Henry J. Hardenburgh, Esq., architect.
Of note, Mr. Clark was actually criticized for his folly as few people saw, at the time, the benefit of having such an attraction on the Lake. Today however it is a loved landmark which is still owned by the descendants of Edward Clark. Please note the castle is very private, no tours are available, and outside of viewing it from a boat no other attempts to occupy castle should be attempted :)
Most people don't really appreciate how much cleaning and upkeep it takes to maintain a castle. Even before things like mold and mildew became apart of our collective consciousness, someone had to scrub the castle floors and walls. If you're moving into a castle, be sure to run through your home inspection check list before signing any papers.
Critiques | Translate
Fransx (1457) 2009-04-15 17:00
A beautiful castle and a peaceful environment. The composition is pleasing - the vertical presentation is excellent! The kayak is giving us the intention that the castle is on an islet in the lake. Sharpness and lighting are very good. The notes are of great help.
Well done. Regards.
phwall (6785) 2009-04-15 17:58
Quite a folly if you ask me, imagine trying to get permission to build that castle nowadays.
Nice shot, composition is excellent and the colour rendition first class. Good sharp image too.
I'm very interested in your kayak, I'd love one just like yours. I remember you saying in an earlier post that they come in kit form as a glue and stick together, any chance you could forward me the web address for the manufacturer. With winter coming on here it could be a good project to while away the dark hours.
Excellent note to go with the capture.
Didi (60588) 2009-04-15 18:13
A modern old castle here ? That's great !
Very nice frame quality of the subject and good depht by the foreground with the kayack pointing in the castle direction.
npecanhuk (75422) 2009-04-15 18:19
With excellent sharpness and exposure, a very well chosen low pov and a simple but truly effective composition, this image is very eye-catching, pleasant and beautiful! The vertical format was a very good choice too! In addition to the Castle, the kayak and the clear water are great highlights!
TFS - Congratulations!
vmf-214 (1648) 2009-04-15 21:53
You out did your self with this shot, Excellent POV of the Kingfisher Tower, Nice soft warm lighting and prefect colors. Really like the crystal clear water you can see the rocks. Great framing and also a very informative note. Great job Tom.
snunney (99000) 2009-04-16 3:58
The kayak along with the curving shoreline make a great pointer towards the tower, which looks as if it belongs in a fairytale. Very good colours and sharpness.
Filipos (25) 2009-04-16 4:13
Very nice castle that look likes a lighthouse!
Dyerco (10185) 2009-04-16 7:26
I like how you included your kayak as FG interest. It balances out the vertical structure of the tower. Interesting notes as well. Who said castle living was like living in a fairy tale? Certainly not the scullery maid.
ymrk (15079) 2009-04-16 8:26
Architectural perspective is superb!And wonderful management in this photo...
Have a nice day,Tom!
asajernigan (21427) 2009-04-16 10:00
This is a great castle that I would not expect to see in New York. I have been to Cooperstown a couple of times and have never come across this place. I guess my attentions were placed more on the baseball stuff than anything else (I'm a big baseball fan, I'm actually watching the Marlins and the Braves play right now). Your composition is great using your kayak to create a sense of direction. The lighting and colors are fine with nice sharpness and detail.
Royaldevon (38814) 2009-04-16 12:03
I love how your kayak is on the shoreline, like a curious seal, pointing the way to the castle!
A great pov with the guiding pathway emerging from the bottom r/h corner and leading straight to the focal point. The castle has atractive architectural details, with the roofs and their bright colours, really standing out.
Your composition, with the tall, impressive tower, standing proudly against the blue sky, is exemplary.
Longroute (19396) 2009-04-16 13:11
after Ludwig's this castle seems to come out from a Disney cartoon... However whimsical it may look after a while it becomes part of the place and constitutes what the sailors call a conspicuous point, i.e. something easily recognized and visible from afar. No wonder it has become a loved landmark...
Anyway your composition is really outstanding with the long stripe of land leading to the castle that gives a great sense of depth and the castle itself which stands out wonderfully from the intense blue sky. And I love the transparency of the water in the fg. Great appreciation both for the photo and note. Well done.
jplebrun (21208) 2009-04-16 16:41
assez inusité ce mini château en plein coeur de New-York, très bon cliché dans ce ciel tout bleu.
Wandering_Dan (3449) 2009-04-16 16:54
Hi, Tom -
A nice engaging note - I will be very careful before buying any castles from now on!
Good photo, too. The placing of the kayak, both for an object and for color, makes it an even better shot.
parbo (11092) 2009-04-16 18:01
Sorry, I lost my entry while entering due to electricity down at neighborhood.
There is nice paradox at first look because miniaturized style of Kingfisher Tower Castle. It's recognizable only with your clever way including your kayak at shore. Excellent capture with in vertical format and your well known precise works. Congratulations.
shevchenko (20516) 2009-04-16 19:04
Good pov to show 'thin' boat against 'thin' tower, good perspective effect and separated in good balancing between sky, water and land, distinct image, well done.
dareco (17134) 2009-04-16 19:31
Very nice composition. Excellent sharp detail and color. TFS
ChrisJ (113951) 2009-04-16 20:13
The vertical frame suits well, & the dual canoe & kayak, make good centers of interest. Excellent color & sharpness. Tfs!
BelCan75 (2201) 2009-04-16 21:56
That's an interesting castle, so tall and so beautiful and right in the water. I like the kayak in the foreground of the photo, gives a good sense of scale. Great POV with good details, beautiful colours and wonderful light! Great work, Tom!
bostankorkulugu (42430) 2009-04-16 23:28
looks european rather than american... the light was not the best may be, but the compo is very good tom... cheers... korkut
rgarrigus (0) 2009-04-16 23:41
Castles in America. Now that's something you don't see every day. Excellent post and really informative note. I did a little workshop - hope you don;t mind.
bracasha75 (24589) 2009-04-17 4:30
You galery is beautiful and full with amaizng archjitecture and this one belong to in your excellent architectuire galery
Very good shot of this intresthing tower Castle
Gerrit (51935) 2009-04-17 13:41
wonderful setting for this stranmge castle like building,
meltemi (0) 2009-04-18 1:47
what a beautiful place. It looks desert. It is good when you have places like that and sometimes one moment without people to have a complete idea of the archtecture of the place. I can sense the mood you mention in looking at it and the colors and details you have captured are superb.
Travelling with a kayak must be a rejuvenating and magnificent experience with the panorama of coasts and mountains to stoke your spirits and looking at them from a very unusual point of view.
All the best.
pauloog (11751) 2009-04-18 15:11
Looks like a German castle tower thrown in the lake but I can indeed imagine that this millionaire's toy has become a beloved landmark of its own.
Your kayak provides a welcome contrasts which brings the view to life.
Keep paddling and posting...
PaulVDV (29017) 2009-04-19 10:21
Good choice for the vertical format.
Beautiful with the small piece of land leading to the small but high tower and also with the kayak pointing
to this castle.
To me this looks like a very 'strange' castle.
Best regards, Paul
mumek (20202) 2009-04-19 12:18
The beautiful Kingfisher Tower Castle is standing very proudly on the shore. You captured superb colours, lovely, probably late afternoon light and of course your "toy"- kayak. As ususal the note is very interesting and informative. My compliments
cfreire (11741) 2009-04-20 16:36
I agree with the words of Stella, it's like a desert but with great beautiful of reflections and contrasts. the shot is well composed and attractive. Well done. Regards, Consuelo
jaywalker (16101) 2009-05-16 13:27
Hi Tom, Brilliantly composed with the canoe resting nicely on the shore & aimed at the stunning little castle, the sharp quality of the picture is out-standing & that blue sky draws out the delights of the architecture, superb light & just a great shot, kind regards Wilson.
- Copyright: Tom O'Donnell (gunbud) (34066)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2009-04-14
- Categories: Castles, Architecture
- Camera: Olympus E-500, 52 mm Circ. Polarizer
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Theme(s): Gunbud's kayaks [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2009-04-15 16:30